5 Beachy Books To Read This Summer

5 Beachy Books to Read This Summer

It seemed to take forever this year for the weather to warm up to spring temperatures. Combined with higher than usual amounts of rain, I’ve found myself ready to settle in with books that give me strong summer vibes based on their setting. Particularly those set on the beach, ocean, or lakefront, making me think I can already smell the sunscreen and feel the sand in my toes.

So today I’m sharing five books with beachy settings to help you dig into summer! This selection is strong on thrillers with some romance and coming of age mixed in. If you prefer a bit more variety, the 2019 summer reading guides from Modern Mrs. Darcy and Sarah’s Bookshelves have fantastic choices as well!

Ready to see my picks?

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May Reading Wrap Up

May 2019 Reading Wrap UpMay was a full month of fun plans and plenty of reading, and it flew by in the blink of an eye!

This was a great month of books for me. I enjoyed a variety of genres, from suspense and thrillers to science fiction and contemporary to historical fiction. With the exception of one book I decided to DNF for now, I wound up rating everything I read at least a three, and two books a full five out of five! You can’t really get much better than that.

Ready to see what I read and reviewed?

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Do You DNF?

Do You DNF?Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to focus on quality over quantity with my reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean every book I read needs to be the BEST book ever but that I’d like to be reading books that thoroughly entertain, teach me something new and interesting, or bring something really special to the table. So I’ve been abandoning books more readily than I ever have in the past.

Although I’ve proclaimed to be fine with putting a book down when it’s not working, it’s been a fairly rare occurrence in my reading life. But as I’m getting older and realizing just how many books there are that I’d like to try, it’s getting easier to DNF (did not finish). It’s entirely possible I’m also getting more particular in my preferences and my patience for poor quality is waning as I read more, making it easier to decide to put a book down.

There are a few reasons why I might DNF a book:

1. The timing/format is wrong.

I’ve tried some books that deal with topics or themes that I just couldn’t handle at the time. It might be anything from the death of a loved one to something too creepy when I’m already stressed. And as a reader who enjoys using multiple formats (print copies, e-books, audiobooks), I find that some formats work better for some books than others. When I put these books down, I usually intend to go back to them at some point when the timing is better or in a different format.

2. I couldn’t connect with it.

This tends to be the hardest category for me. These are books that don’t necessarily have anything wrong with them and the timing and format is right, but something just isn’t clicking for me. Although sometimes I’ll realize it fairly quickly, most often I stick with these for the longest amount of time before putting them down. And sometimes I’ll consider going back to these at another time as well.

3. Poor writing and editing.

These are the easiest books for me to DNF. When I come across several spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes within a couple pages, I know it won’t be a book for me. This tends to be an issue more often with independently published (and especially self published) books, which is unfortunate because I like to give them a chance.

So I’m curious! Do you DNF books? If so, what are your reasons?

Infographic: What are you in the mood to read next?

What are you in the mood to read next?Today I want to share a different type of recommendation post. As a mood reader, when I’m trying to decide what book to pick up next I usually go through a particular process that involves a few steps. First I think about what genre or tone I’m looking for. And then I narrow it down based on some specifics I’ve heard about the books in that category on my TBR (to be read) list. So I thought it would be fun to share an infographic that visualizes that experience.

Since this could go in so many directions, I’m starting by focusing on genres and categories that I’ve read a good amount in and have chosen books that were released within the past two years (or have sequels that were published within that time frame). I’d love to hear your thoughts on this type of post! Please let me know if you like infographics like this and if so, what genres or topics you might want to see suggestions for in the comments.

Ready to see my recommendations?

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April Reading Wrap Up

April Reading Wrap UpApril was overall a great month of reading! I completed nine books, which is more than my average (although I’m not entirely sure how). And the majority of what I read I wound up rating a four. After the March I had, this was more than a few steps up and I’m feeling much better about choosing the right books for me.

I’m also happy to have knocked some backlist books that I’ve owned for a while off my list. As it stands now, I own 171 books that I haven’t yet read and I’d like to get that down to 155 by the end of the year. If I keep up this rate of at least two per month, that should be achievable.

Anyway. Ready to see what I read and reviewed in April?

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March Reading Wrap Up

March Reading Wrap UpMarch was a fairly middling month of reading for me. I completed eight books this month (not counting one book I didn’t finish) and most of what I read was average with a rating of a three, with one four star read, and ending strong with a five star read. I’m so glad to have ended March on a high note as I was starting to think I was on a streak of not picking the right books for me. That, combined with the weather finally starting to warm up, has me in a good mood with high hopes for what’s next!

Ready to see what I read and reviewed?

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5 Apps to Enhance Your Reading

5 Apps to Enhance Your Reading

I know there are many readers out there who only like to read print books. And I get it. There is something about the weight of the book and turning the pages that an electronic device just doesn’t have. But on the other hand, there is the incredible convenience factor of an e-reader in that you have access to so many books with just one lightweight device.

Today I’m taking this idea even a step further. Not only do I use (and love!) a nook, I also read on my phone quite a bit. And there are a variety of apps that I like to use. Of course, there are always the nook and kindle apps, which sync to your device if you have one, or you can even download to your phone for free without needing the actual device if you prefer. But in this post, I’d like to talk about five more specific apps that can enhance your reading life. (None of these are affiliate links in any way, they are all simply apps that I’ve used and liked personally.)

Ready to see them?

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5 Contemporary Books to Read This Spring

5 Contemporary Books to Read This Spring

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’m something of a seasonal mood reader. But that doesn’t mean that every season prompts the same mood. This particular season, as winter is slowly coming to a close, I’m feeling partial to picking up a good contemporary book.

Today, I’d like to share five contemporary novels that I love recommending for a variety of reasons. Some of these are lighter in tone and some deal with more serious themes. But they all stuck with me after finishing. These are all backlist books, published in 2018 or earlier, and are arranged from most recent release to the oldest. I hope at least one of them will work for you!

Ready to see my picks?

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February Reading Wrap Up

February Reading Wrap UpFebruary was a really good month for me overall! For starters, it’s my birthday month and I was able to celebrate with family and friends multiple times. And I read some really good books too!

I started the month out with a bang with a book I devoured and wound up rating a five. Most everything else I read was good to great for me, along with a reread of Harry Potter when I was in need of some comfort listening. I did come across one book that just didn’t keep my interest and wound up not finishing. But I’m trying to get better at putting books down when they don’t work for me, so I’m actually counting that as a win.

Ready to see what I read and reviewed?

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How do you react to dystopian fiction?

How do you react to dystopian fiction?I was catching up with a friend recently over dinner and our conversation turned to books (as it inevitably does with a book lover). When my friend asked what I’d been reading lately, I shared a bit about a book I was reading at the time that had me thoroughly intrigued and itching to discuss with someone.

That book was Vox, which posits a world in which women come to be allotted only 100 words per day. After sketching out the premise, I was ready to dive into conversation mode, but my friend blurted out, “That sounds horrifying! Who wrote this garbage, a man?!” And in that moment, I was stunned. Nothing I could say after that would persuade her to even think twice about the book.

This line of conversation started me thinking about the different reactions I’ve seen to dystopian fiction, so I wanted to take some time today to talk about them. To be clear, I’m specifically talking about reactions to the book’s concept and not necessarily its execution or whether the book was actually good or entertaining or even enjoyable. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways that readers respond to these types of stories, but these are the reactions I’ve come across most.

Who wrote this garbage? It must have been a *insert your descriptive here*

I’ve seen this particular reaction most when the book in question has a premise in which a particular people group is belittled, minimized, or shamed in some way. More often than not, the person I’ve seen react like this belongs to that people group, so I have to wonder if it just hit too close to home?

This isn’t realistic

I’ve come across this reaction most with readers that are new to the genre and didn’t quite know what to expect. Since dystopia is the opposite of a utopia and therefore inherently flawed and problematic, it’s understandable why someone might think this if they didn’t know to expect it going in.

It’s a cautionary tale

This is probably the reaction I see most. I expect because reading about a worst case scenario that feels nearly plausible in our current society can make someone sit up and take notice of the parallels.

So, I’m curious. What are your thoughts on dystopian fiction and how do you react to it as a genre? And does your response change depending on the premise of a particular book?